4 Things The Matrix Resurrections Needs to Avoid Disappointing Fans

The Matrix Resurrections

Like a slow-mo roundhouse kick to the noggin, The Matrix totally rocked the cinematic landscape when it released back in 1999. Blending hyper-stylish Hong Kong martial arts cinema with the heady, philosophical cyberpunk literature of Philip K. Dick and William Gibson et al, the Wachowskis’ sci-fi action epic was, in essence, a ‘Thinking Person’s Star Wars’. Fast-forward 21 years and not only do we have an animated series, three video games, a bunch of books and comics, as well as two sequels (more on these later), we also have an upcoming fourth installment from the original writer-director, Lana Wachowski, – titled The Matrix Resurrections – that is all set to launch on December 22 in theaters and on HBO Max.

While many fans are champing at the bit to return to the simulated reality of the titular computer program later this year, a subsection of enthusiasts are understandably a little cautious about how Warner Bros. will handle the much anticipated project. So, without further ado, here are four things we want to see in The Matrix Resurrections. Let’s get into it, shall we?

It Needs to Connect Itself With Our Modern World in a Meaningful Way

4 Things We Want to See in The Matrix Resurrections

The Matrix Resurrections
Image Credit: Warner Bros. (via The Wrap)

When The Matrix launched back in 1999, it was a cutting edge sci-fi film that felt surprisingly grounded: the Y2K bug was on the horizon, the internet as we know it was starting to become more ubiquitous, and cell phones were exponentially growing in popularity. Not only did the Wachowskis’ hacker espionage action-thriller tap into these feelings in a really relevant, inventive and resonant way, but it would also go on to popularize the complex high-concept notion of a simulated reality amongst a mainstream audience. No small feat, indeed.

In other words, the original movie struck at a perfect point in time, just as we were at the precipice of ushering in an entirely new millennium, and looking back, The Matrix capitalized on that. The thing is, our world has changed a lot since the late ’90s and hopefully the upcoming sequel can reflect these changes. Essentially, The Matrix Resurrections needs to connect to our new, modern world in a meaningful way – just like the first pic did – and make the bullet-dodging action and metaphysical rambling relevant again in 2021.

Frankly, this will all come down entirely to the writing team, but thankfully, with one of the original writer-directors attached to the project, there’s a good chance that The Matrix Resurrections will be more than just a shiny piece of fan service.

It Needs to Re-Focus on the First & Best Film in the Series

4 Things We Want to See in The Matrix Resurrections

The Matrix Resurrections
Image Credit: Warner Bros. (via Engadget)

Speaking of fan service, The Matrix’s overwrought and overcomplicated sequels – Reloaded and Revolutions – felt just like that: fan service that failed to take advantage of what made the debut feature such a timely masterstroke.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s enjoyment to be gleaned from both sequels in a turn-off-your-brain kind of way, and the visuals did manage to hit new highs; but from a narrative and tonal perspective something felt off. From overly sexualized scenes to overly laborious philosophical mumbo jumbo that overcomplicates things before being swiftly swept under the rug (was it really necessary to infer a whole Matrix-within-a-Matrix sub-plot?) to just an overly predictable by-the-numbers story arc that relies too much on action spectacle while lurching from one plot device to another, the sequels don’t stand up in quite the same way as the original, especially through a modern lens.

Long story short, The Matrix Resurrections needs to re-focus on the elegance and restraint of the Wachowskis’ 1999 opener to avoid the pitfalls of its disappointing sequels. After all, with Warner Bros. returning to The Matrix’s sci-fi well, this can’t be yet another case of diminishing critical returns for the franchise, as ultimately, this could potentially spell doom for the IP’s brand as a whole.

It Needs to Give Us an Interesting & Memorable Villain

4 Things We Want to See in The Matrix Resurrections

The Matrix Resurrections
Image Credit: Warner Bros. (via IGN)

Make no mistake, The Matrix trilogy boasts one of the coolest and iconic villains ever: Agent Smith. Indeed, Hugo Weaving’s cold and calculated rogue AI program was one of the true stars of the entire cyberpunk series with his recognizable voice and scenery-chewing presence. However, the Lord of the Rings alumni is nowhere to be seen in this upcoming follow-up. Without Agent Smith we’re going to need a compelling villain to latch onto, right? So, who’s going to be replacing him?

Well, one actor who stands out in the debut trailer for The Matrix Resurrections is Neil Patrick Harris as Neo’s future therapist. Indeed, Harris’s calm, intellectual demeanour could make for a great foil to Agent Smith’s angry purpose-driven persona. So, could the How I Met Your Mother star make for a good antagonist? Quite possibly, no? I mean, the Albuquerque-born actor-comedian has played a villainous role as Count Olaf in A Series Of Unfortunate Events so it wouldn’t be his first time playing a big bad. Plus, having some star power in the role could prove handy from a marketing perspective, too.

Of course, we don’t 100% know who the villain is yet, so that’s merely an educated guess, but one thing is for certain: the fourth Matrix flick will need an interesting and memorable villain to help us get invested in the story. And without the iconic qualities of Weaving’s Agent Smith, we hope Warner Bros. has something surprising up its sleeve.

It Needs to Give Neo, Trinity & Morpheus the Respectful Conclusion They Deserve

4 Things We Want to See in The Matrix Resurrections

The Matrix Resurrections
Image Credit: Warner Bros. (via Nerdist)

Even the staunchest defenders of the critically maligned sequels will agree that the ending of Revolutions could’ve been handled better. In a bid to secure a peace treaty between both humanity and machines, Neo gives his life in the ultimate sacrifice (echoing the Christ parable motif) and Trinity dies when she crash-lands into the machine city, impaling herself on a bunch of spikes. Ouch.

Interestingly, Morpheus is the only key character to survive the events of the threequel. However, the Apocalypse Now star is the only actor we currently know that has been officially recast. Yes, Laurence Fishburne is set to be replaced by 35-year-old Yahya Abdul-Mateen II of Us and Candyman fame. How this will fit into the overarching narrative remains to be seen, but it’s likely that – at the ripe ol’ age of 60 – Fishburne may not be up to the physical demands of the bullet-dodging slow-mo kung fu action that is so emblematic of the series.

So, how will The Matrix Resurrections tie up all those loose ends into a satisfying conclusion this time around? Well, from the looks of things, it appears that this new film will be set in the seventh version of the Matrix. (Remember, the original trilogy’s events took place in the sixth incarnation of the Matrix.) Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume that Neo and Trinity have somehow been revived and have now jacked back into the eponymous program.

Of course, this essentially gives Lana Wachowski a blank slate; a new chance to tell a fresh story in her iconic dystopian world. As a result, we may hopefully get a more satisfying conclusion for Neo, Trinity and Morpheus, and that alone could very much make it worth taking the red pill for when The Matrix Resurrections launches in theaters and HBO this December 22. Fingers firmly crossed, right?

About the author

Dylan Chaundy

Dylan is a Senior Writer at Twinfinite and has been with the site for over two years, and in the games media industry for over a decade. He typically covers horror, RPGs, shooters, Roblox, indie titles and movies, and loves reading, pizza and skateboarding; ideally, at the same time. He has a degree in English Literature from Aberystwyth University, Wales. He thinks FTL may be the most perfect game ever created.